Congressman Peter King defends his pro IRA position to British parliament
Says massive difference between Irish Republicans and Al Qaeda
U.S. Congressman Peter King has defended his support for the IRA in front of the British Parliament at an inquiry into the roots of Muslim terrorism.
The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee appeared before the British inquiry on Tuesday months after he was branded a hypocrite.
King came under fire when he launched his own hearings into domestic radicalization in the American Muslim community.
Several critics, including a survivor of a 1990 IRA bomb in London, pointed to King’s long term support for the IRA.
They highlighted King’s involvement in the 80s with a US group believed to have raised funds for the Republican paramilitary outfit.
Congressman Peter King's strange journey from Irish radical to Muslim inquisitor
King was invited to testify by the British Home Affairs Committee of the British House of Commons at its ‘Roots of violent radicalization’ inquiry when his IRA links re-surfaced.
Labor Party representative David Winnick challenged King when he said: “There’s been some surprise in the United States but also in Britain that you have a job looking into and investigating into terrorism.”
Winnick then quoted a King speech in support of the IRA from the 80s when he said: “We must pledge ourselves to support those brave men and women who this very moment are carrying forth the struggle against British imperialism in the streets of Belfast and Derry.”
In 1985, King said: “If civilians are killed in an attack on a military installation, it is certainly regrettable, but I will not morally blame the I.R.A. for it.”
In reply to Winnick’s remarks, King defended his comments and asked for them to be taken in context.
“I stand by it in the context of when it was said,” King responded, without hesitation.
“Those quotes were designed to put the conflict in a perspective for an American audience that was too often exposed to anti-IRA. points of view.”
King then defended his part in Irish conflict and refused to denounce the IRA.
He said: “I stand by it in the context of when it was said. I can cite you Tony Blair, as recently asMarch of this year, put out a long statement defending my record both in the 1980s and throughout the Irish peace process.
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